Newry.ie

With the Planning Committee of Newry, Mourne and Down Council due once again this week to make a decision on the Carnbane retail park development, local business leaders have again urged councillors to reject the application.

Newry Chamber Chief Executive, Colm Shannon, Newry BID Managing Director, Eamonn Connolly and Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts have called for Newry, Mourne and Down Council to reject the Carnbane retail park development.
Newry Chamber Chief Executive, Colm Shannon; Newry BID Managing Director, Eamonn Connolly and Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts have all called for Newry, Mourne and Down Council to reject the Carnbane retail park planning proposal.

Planners have recommended that the application from Damolly Developments is rejected, and councillors will once again have a decision to make this Wednesday 11 December at the December Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Planning Committe meeting. The Planning Committee defered the decision at their October meeting and withdrew the application from the agenda in the November meeting after receiving correspondence from the DFI.

Newry BID, Newry Chamber of Commerce and Retail NI are again urging the Council to reject the proposed application. 

In a statement the three organisations note that the Councils own planning consultants’ figures indicate that the proposed scheme will have the highest retail capacity and impact in Northern Ireland.

"This application, combined with the retail floor space of the food superstore, amounts to an eye-watering total of 22,653 sqm gross retail floor space (243,834.86 sqft) at an out of town location. This does not include the restaurants and café, which would also be deemed to be main town centre uses.

"To place this in context, the current application at Sprucefield Park (Regional Shopping Centre as per RDS 2035 paragraph 3.41) is for 20,702 sqm gross retail floor space. This figure excludes the restaurants and hotel."

Destroy the heart of Newry

Claiming that the proposal would destroy the heart of Newry Eamonn Connolly, Managing Director of Newry BID said “We are objecting to this proposal as its scale would destroy the heart of Newry.

"At a time when town and city centres are under huge pressure it makes no sense for Councillors to approve a massive development that their own professional officials recommend for refusal for good reason. We trust Councillors will listen to the local community and acknowledge that Newry is not big enough for two cities” 

Undermine the future of Newry City Centre

Colm Shannon, Chief Executive, Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade  spoke of how at present there is real confidence in the future of Newry City Centre and said that approving the development at Carnbane will undermine that.

"The scale of the proposed development will threaten the viability of retail businesses in the city and impact on local communities that benefit from easy access to these businesses.

“Newry is a forward and progressive city with a variety of businesses that have served the needs of the people of Newry for generations.  The Council’s own regeneration plans have already stimulated interest in our city centre. Approving the Carnbane proposals will undermine the future vision of a dynamic city centre centre with a vibrant mix of retail, commercial and leisure to meet the needs of both the day time and night time Newry economy of Newry.”

The site of the proposed development at Carnbane. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
The site of the proposed development at Carnbane. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Planners Reasons for Rejecting Application

Citing some of their reasons for recommending rejection of the application planners have said:

  • The proposal is contrary to the Banbridge, Newry and Mourne Area Plan 2015 objectives in that the proposal lies ourside the city centre boundry and primary retail core of Newry.
  • It doesn't adopt a "town centre first approach" 
  • It hasn't been demonstrated that the proposal will not have a significant adverse impact on trade and turnover overall for all centres within the catchment of the proposal.

Larger than Sprucefield

Claiming it would have a retail impact to Newry City Centre of near 30% Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive, Retail NI said “This out of town retail application is one of the biggest ever and is in fact larger than Sprucefield”

‘It would be a completing city centre, drawing away jobs, retailers, hospitality, shoppers and would cause incalculable damage to Newry City Centre. It would have a retail impact to Newry City Centre of nearly 30% and is completely contrary to the town centre planning policy and the local development plan”

“Should the Council vote in favour of this application then it would make a mockery of the entire planning regime, policy and their own plan for the City Centre. If local Councillors are committed to seeing a vibrant 21st century Newry City Centre then they must oppose this job-threatening application”

“Out of town retail is the past, not the future, of the sector and we urge Councillors to stand with Newry City centre traders” 

Councillors are due to make the decision at the Planning Committee meeting this Wednesday at 10am in Newry.

 

 

 

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